During the competition season, our team is up before the sun to do training runs in Prospect Park. On a typical training day, we focus on maintaining an even and fluid pace, minimizing gaps, and rotating to ensure everyone has the opportunity to "pull" or get to the front of the pack.
In addition to our energy bars and gels in our back pockets, our team refuels with coffee, tea, and pastries at what has become the team's signature café in Brooklyn. Sit & Wonder has become a ritual after practice rounds in Prospect Park.
As delicious and satisfying as the cinnamon buns and scones are, they are not the best post-race recovery food, as coach Tara agrees. When it comes to refueling after a race, carbohydrates and protein are essential. She says cyclists should focus on consuming protein (around 20-30 grams), whether it's at the end of a gentle workout or a tougher program.
Therefore, a protein shake or a non-fat Greek yogurt with fruit and granola are good options. One of our teammates, Cami, suggests Skratch Labs Sports Recovery Drink Mix! One of my favorite post-sweat drink mixes is Nuun: Recover with carbs, electrolytes, and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs help repair muscles and reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.
To keep things fun and to motivate us to eat healthy, our team has a Slack channel where we share recipes and all things nutrition. Our team captain, Natalie, shared a healthy snack recipe to fuel our rides: chewy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Another healthy snack, and one of my favorites, is the no-bake peanut butter energy bites. They are made from just three ingredients, combining granola, peanut butter, and honey, then shaping the mixture into balls.
Be sure to fuel up 30-60 minutes after a race to maximize recovery and get back on the road in no time!